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Collection: The Shape of Content in Christian Books, Broadsides, and Prints
In this controversial sixteenth-century exposé of alleged cruelties perpetrated by the Spanish Inquisition, the large unfolded woodcut plate illustrates an auto-de-fé, the post-trial ritual in which the condemned heretics were led through a public…
This anonymous fifteenth-century treatise on the Mas ceremony contains two texts printed in two distinct typefaces: quotations from the Latin litury printed with a tall Gothic font and the German explanation of the Mass printed in a smaller rounder…
The first of two volumes of the Latin scriptures, bound in Bohemia, and owned by the Franciscans of Tachov. Royal folio, 413 x 288 mm. Double columns, 248 lines.
Schoeffer's third printing of the Liber sextus decretalium. Rubrication in red and blue has been added and there is an elaborately illuminated and colored initial B. The front flyleaf features an alphabetical subject index compiled by a…
Noted for its striking woodcut illustrations, this book recounts a pilgrimage to the Holy Land undertaken in 1483–1484 by Bernhard von Breydenbach, Dean of Mainz Cathedral. Six leaves across, the exhibited fold-out illustration of Jerusalem…
Pope Clement V's Constitutiones consist of decretals (papal letters establishing canon law) issued by Popes Boniface VIII, Benedict XI, and Clement V himself. In this work Schoeffer introduced an improved commentary type, intended mainly for use with…
A compilation of all of the papal decrees and canon laws that had been approved between 1140 and 1234. An exceptionally large book printed on durable vellum. The text is arranged in tandem with the main text in the center surrounded by commentary in…
The most popular private devotional tract of the fifteenth century, bound in Bavaria and owned by the Augustinian canons of St. Nicolaus, Passau. Chancery octavo, 114 x 106 mm. Single column, 22 lines.
First printed edition of the Mammorectus, a manual for the unlettered clergy with short entries explaining difficult terms and concepts encountered in the Bible. Bound in southern Bohemia. Median folio, 339 x 240 mm. Double columns, 48 lines.
Numerous early printed missals, such as this edition published for the use of Carmelite monasteries, included music notation in the section of text located immediately prior to the Canon of the Mass. Plaited leather button tabs were also attached to…
A critique of Jewish beliefs concerning the Messiah, this work includes a rudimentary introduction to the Hebrew language, a misleading summary of Jewish beliefs, and transliterations from Hebrew sources. Median Quarto, 235 x 162 mm. Single column,…
This early printed papal bull announced that indulgences would be granted to penitent Christians who made donations to benefit the church of St. George and Mary Magdalen in Nördlingen, Germany. It contains many of the essential formulas of the…
A guide to the study of the Gospels, bound for the Franciscans of St. Anne in Bamberg. Chancery folio, 292 x 210 mm. Double column, 47 lines.
The first of five volumes of a lengthy theological treatise, bound in southern Bavaria, and later owned by the Jesuits of Burghausen. Imperial folio, 480 x 323 mm. Double column. 59 lines.
This treatise on the legal definition of Christian marriage features two full-page diagrams depicting the "Tree of Consanguinity" and the exhibited "Tree of Affinity." The two woodcuts in the form of family trees helped to clarify the allowable…
A handy exposition on the Gospels, bound in Italy and later owned by the Carmelites of Venice. Median Octavo, 179 x 119 mm. Double column, 42 lines.
In this Latin Bible printed in 1483, a late sixteenth-century English reader has inserted paper slips bearing handwritten English prologues for each book of the Bible. These added texts were transcribed directly from the prologues published in the…
In the exhibited exposition on the Psalms, the printer eliminated the need for rubrication, printing suitably elaborate initials and border decoration along with the text. Such books had the advantage of being ready for use as soon as they were…
This Sammelband of four fifteenth-century publications by Johannes Trithemusm is preserved in its original monastic binding. Chancery quatro, 211 x 144 mm.
Rules for monastic living, bound in south Germany, with a later brass clasp. Chancery sextodecimo, 114 x 77 mm.
Six-volume multilingual Bible with Greek Septuagint and New Testament, Latin Vulgate, Hebrew Old Testament, and Aramaic translation in the lower margin.
In this chronological overview of world history the spine crosses the top of the book, so that the pages must be turned from bottom to top as they are read. The text was printed from engraved plates instead of movable types and text was only printed…
In this comprehensive study of biblical sources by the Dutch Protestant theologian Herman Witsius, revelation plays a large role in the chapter of the Tabernacle of the Ark of the Covenant. The Tabernacle was equipped with a curtain that concealed…
This portrait of Jean Calvin features micography of the first chapter of Martin Luther's German translation of Ecclesiasticus.
This all-engraved edition of the Book of Common Prayer features a volvelle, or rotating circular table, that allowed the user to determine the dates of all the moveable Sunday feasts, such as Easter, during a particular year.